On the fringes – support your local critical thinking in 2009

When I saw the proposed stages for agile 2009 last week, they looked a bit bland to me. A lot of the fun and risky stuff seems to have been taken out (musical stage, breaking acts, questioning agile). Ok, open space (I love open space) is still in there.

The 2008 conference was quite good for such a large event. Things that contributed to it were, in my opinion, scrapping experience reports as a separate track and instead having lots of experience reports everywhere as well as the breaking acts and questioning agile stages. Yes, you can have those topics spread out, but having those topics front and center (what is the first thing you see when you look at the conference? its the stages. So the first thing you see is: ah, critical thinking, wild new cideas).

If you want to support new ideas, and at the very least keep up the outward appearance that the agile community invites and supports them, leave a comment on David Andersons’ blog post “The case for an agile fringe” .

I also left one at Johanna Rothmann’s (2009 conference chair) response “I’m Disappointing Already” outlining some of the forces I’m seeing. Johanna ems to take it personal, which I think is unfortunate. Sometimes folks in the kanban camp seem to do the same – getting their sessions rejected for earlier conferences must have been very painful. The reasons for rejection were probably systemic, and it seems some of the systemic reasons have been fixed in 2008, now 2009 seems to be sliding back (and yes, kanban is now establishment, but it will happen again to new new stuff).

So, let’s stop taking it personal, and improve the system; no regression, if we can easily prevent that please – carry out one refactoring “replace experience reports stage with fringe stage”, that’s it.

That’s it for today, maybe I’ll post more later. I’m going back to XP days London (which is one big fringe :) lots of new ideas and critical thinking going on, and the open space is an integral part of the program, which seems to work fairly well at this scale.).

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